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DRAFT Chapter 1, "But God..."

DRAFT Chapter 1, "But God..."

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Published by Cruciform Press
Sample Draft Chapter 1 of "But God..." -- The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel, by Casey Lute
Sample Draft Chapter 1 of "But God..." -- The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel, by Casey Lute

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Published by: Cruciform Press on Mar 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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God Preserves Humanity
God Creates a Nation
God Preserves His Nation
God Provides a Better Sacrifice
God Demonstrates His Love for His People
God Raises Jesus from the Dead
God Chooses the Foolish and Weak 
God Brings Death out of Life
God’s Firm Foundation Stands
I had been serving as an associate pastor at a small church in GrandJunction, Colorado, for about a year before I got out and did any real
hiking (I‘m much more comfortable behind a desk). On the
recommendation of a longtime resident, I took a group of at-risk juniorhigh boys to Hanging Lake, a small body of water east of town. Onceyou reach the trailhead the only way to the lake is on foot; the terrain isjust too rough. So we drove the ninety minutes to the trail, ate lunch,filled our water bottles, and began to climb.
None of us were seasoned hikers, and it didn‘t take long for our lack 
of experience to show. While the trail was not spectacularly difficult, wehad to work hard, stepping over rocks and traversing small streambeds.The boys probably were wishing they could have spent the day playing video games.But then we reached the top and looked out over Hanging Lake.None of us had ever seen anything like it. The water was perfectly clear,with fish darting back and forth in full view. One waterfall fed the lake,and a second one at the opposite side emptied it. As we walked along a
boardwalk built on the rocky shoreline, the beauty of God‘s creationmingled with man‘s ingenuity. We crossed part of the lake on a fall
entree, careful not to fall into water that was surely as cold as it was clear.Eventually, we made our way back down the trail (a much easiertrip), climbed back into the car, and drove home. I dropped the boys off at their houses, then went home myself.Thus, the day ended not with a bang but with a bit of a fizzle. Thebulk of our time had been spent traveling 
in car and on foot. Thecompany had been good and the exercise had been much needed. Still,we never would have done it had it not been for the promise of that
experience in the middle of the day 
—seeing the lake and enjoying God‘s
creation together. The best part of the day was not the beginning or theend, but the middle.So often in our great stories and life experiences, the best is savedfor last. From the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninthinning to the dramatic scene just before the credits roll to the encoreperformance at a great concert, we just seem to love the grand finale.However, many of the stories in the Bible
do not 
save the best for last.Like my hiking trip to Hanging Lake, we have to look to the middle of many of the biblical narratives to find the best part, the most meaningfulpart.One such narrative is the first great salvation story in Scripture
theaccount of Noah. Reading the flood account is like following a trailacross a great mountain. It ascends until it gets to the main point, thendescends again. The whole journey is important, but the most gloriouspart is at the mountaintop in the middle.The main points of the biblical story of Noah and the flood are asfollows:
The earth became incredibly corrupt, to the point where Godregretted creating mankind and decided to destroy all human beings(5:28
God chose to save one man (Noah) and gave him instructionsfor building a large ark in which to survive the flood God wouldsend to destroy the world (6:8
Noah went into the ark, along with his family and some of eachkind of animal, and the flood came upon the earth, wiping out allmen and beasts outside the ark (7:1
The flood subsided and Noah left the ark with his family (8:1

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